3ID targets to topple insurgency in WV by late 2020 or early 2021

By Jennifer P. Rendon


Toppling insurgency in Western Visayas is possible.

In fact, the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division is aiming to finish the New People’s Army in the region by end of 2020 or first quarter of 2021.

Major Cenon Pancito, 3rd ID spokesperson, said the target is possible given that only 81 of the 4,051 barangays in the region are rebel-affected.

Forty-seven of these rebel-affected barangays are in Panay Island while 34 are in Negros Occidental.

Pancito clarified that there are still several barangays they also need to clear of rebel-infestation in Negros Oriental province and other provinces, which are under the 3ID area of responsibility.

By neutralizing, Pancito explained they hoped to clear the area of the presence of rebel “fronts.”

A front has at least 50 rebel combatants.

In Panay Island, the rebel fronts that exist are Southern Front and the Central Front of the Komiteng Rehiyon – Panay (KR-P).

“The Communist Party of the Philippines has earlier admitted na wala na ang Eastern Front. Nalusaw na,” Pancito said.

By 3rd ID’s estimate, rebels operating in Panay are around 200 “and their numbers are dwindling.”

Earlier, the 3rd ID projected of declaring Panay Island as insurgency-free early of 2020.

It was said that the creation of Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) would boost the government’s efforts in declaring villages as insurgency-free.

The creation of TF ELCAC is one of the mandates of Executive Order No. 70 or the “Institutionalizing the Whole-Of-Nation Approach in Attaining Inclusive and Sustainable Peace, Creating A National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, and Directing the Adoption of A National Peace Framework.”

EO 70 aims to institutionalize the “Whole-of-Nation Approach” in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace.

Since EO 70 is about the convergence of all efforts of government agencies in a bid to end insurgency, task forces and sub-task forces were created for the purpose.

Through mechanisms under EO 70, several task forces were created like the Task Force ELCAC.